WellSpan Health expects to add about 160 additional intensive care unit beds to its hospitals in the coming weeks.
The York-based hospital system announced Monday that it will use its operating rooms and recovery bay areas to house additional beds for patients at its acute care hospitals in anticipation of an increase in COVID-19-positive cases.
The new beds will be placed in facilities currently closed due to the system’s order in March to postpone non-urgent medical procedures and surgeries. It will also suspend services at its WellSpan Surgery and Rehabilitation Hospital in York to shift focus to providing acute care for patients without the virus.
“We are preparing thoughtfully for what we know is coming, and the strain it will place on our hospitals,” said John Porter, executive vice president and COO of WellSpan. “As central Pennsylvania’s trusted health care partner, we are taking bold, coordinated action to prepare for this anticipated rise in patients requiring acute hospital care.”
WellSpan is currently offering coronavirus tests at about a dozen open-air sites across five counties. The system has conducted more than 8,000 tests at these locations and found 400 positive cases.
“We were the first to offer a true network of testing sites across our region. This allows us to collect samples and identify those at risk of infection early,” said Dr. Roxanna Gapstur, president and CEO of WellSpan. “Now, we’re planning to double our critical care capacity in preparation for the expected rise in patients who may need care in our hospitals.”